Tuesday, 19 October 2004

Questions (244)

John Perry

Question:

385 Mr. Perry asked the Minister for Enterprise, Trade and Employment the number of jobs created by IDA Ireland and Enterprise Ireland in Counties Sligo and Leitrim in 2001, 2002, 2003 and to date in 2004; the number of jobs lost in each county for that period; the sectors of the economy which have suffered the worst losses; the steps taken to promote employment; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [25481/04]

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Written answers (Question to Minister for Enterprise, Trade and Employment)

Support for job creation and retention in individual counties is a day-to-day operational matter for the industrial development agencies. The agencies are actively promoting counties Sligo and Leitrim for new investment and jobs on an ongoing basis, with IDA Ireland actively marketing the county as a location for additional foreign direct investment through its network of overseas offices and Enterprise Ireland concentrating on the development of indigenous industries. Both agencies are also working with existing clients in the counties with a view to helping them expand their activities.

Job creation and job losses are a feature of economic development in all countries as various sectors expand and contract in response to market demand for goods and services, competitive forces, restructuring and technological change. The Forfás annual employment survey records jobs gained and lost, and figures are published for the previous year on a cumulative basis at the beginning of the following year. The latest figures available are for 2003.

According to IDA Ireland overseas investment in both counties is performing well with a number of projects announcements and expansions over the period, including the following: Abbott Laboratories announced in July 2001 that the company planned to establish a major new pharmaceuticals manufacturing facility in Sligo, which will employ 195 people. Construction of the project has been completed and production has commenced; in March 2003 Abbott Laboratories made a further announcement that the company planned to invest €45 million in the expansion of its diagnostics facility at Finisklin and a further €55 million in the development of a new facility in Longford. The projects will create 350 jobs in Sligo and 600 jobs in Longford. Construction of both facilities is well underway and recruitment is ongoing; MBNA, the world's largest independent credit card lender has established a new contact centre at Carrick-on-Shannon and the company has recruited aggressively over the past three years in Leitrim and the surrounding counties; and Eaton Corporation has established a new operation in Manorhamilton and now employs approximately 200 persons. The company has plans to develop the business further in Manorhamilton and has been recruiting over the past 18 months.

Job losses in IDA Ireland supported companies in Sligo and Leitrim have occurred in the engineering and consumer products sectors.

Enterprise Ireland has approved funding of almost €2.4 million and made payments of approximately €1.7 million to client companies in Counties Sligo and Leitrim, since the beginning of 2003 to date. It has approved funding of €460,000, under its competitiveness fund, to five companies in Sligo and Leitrim. It is working with Sligo and Letterkenny ITs on an enterprise development programme called commercialising enterprise in management, which provides training for graduates wishing to set up their own business. It has helped to fund the construction of three community enterprise centres in County Sligo and seven in County Leitrim. In addition, two further centres have been approved for County Leitrim under the community enterprise centre programme 2002 at Ballinamore and Drumshambo. Enterprise Ireland also instigated the setting up of a north-west region community enterprise centre association in October 2003. It has approved €2.54 million in 2003 in support of the Sligo IT campus-based business incubation cFÁS. Some €157,000 has also been approved towards the cost of a centre manager.

In terms of job losses in Enterprise Ireland supported companies in the counties, the most job losses were recorded in the food, plastic-rubber and furniture-wood related sectors.

The following tables provide details of total employment, jobs gained, jobs lost and the net change in Counties Sligo and Leitrim for each of the agencies for the years 2001 to 2003 inclusive.

Job Data for Enterprise Ireland supported companies in County Sligo from 2001 to 2003, inclusive.

Enterprise Ireland County Sligo

2001

2002

2003

Permanent Employment

1,782

1,814

1,789

Jobs Gained

166

240

187

Jobs Lost

-216

-208

-212

Net Change

-50

32

-25

Job Data for Enterprise Ireland supported companies in County Leitrim from 2001 to 2003, inclusive.

Enterprise Ireland — County Leitrim

2001

2002

2003

Permanent Employment

1,070

961

926

Jobs Gained

53

73

28

Jobs Lost

-55

-182

-63

Net Change

-2

-109

-35

Job Data for IDA Ireland supported companies in County Sligo from 2001 to 2003, inclusive.

IDA Ireland — County Sligo

2001

2002

2003

Permanent Employment

2,419

2,502

2,397

Jobs Gained

92

163

102

Jobs Lost

-224

-80

-207

Net Change in Employment

-132

83

-105

Job Data for IDA Ireland supported companies in County Leitrim from 2001 to 2003, inclusive.

IDA Ireland — County Leitrim

2001

2002

2003

Permanent Employment

576

674

1,244

Gross Gains (New Jobs)

336

117

575

Job Losses

-2

-19

-5

Net Change in Employment

334

98

570